Advanced Materials in South Korea 2018

In March 2018, a UK delegation supported by British Embassy staff travelled to South Korea and met with government officials, academics and commercial entities. The UK’s Advanced Materials Mission gained exposure to nearly twenty advanced materialsrelated organisations and learnt about the relevant programmes supporting advanced materials research and development that could directly benefit collaboration, joint ventures and growth opportunities for organisations in the UK.


Advanced Materials in South Korea 2018


South Korea


Advanced Materials

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Abstract from outcome report:

The global market for materials is large, soon estimated to exceed over US$4.9 trillion per annum1, and in particular, advanced materials are vital to current and future UK manufacturing and service sectors. Key UK sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, construction, electronic equipment, energy, medical equipment, packaging, rail and their supply chains all need materials to deliver bulk and niche products. Furthermore, they require continuous innovation in materials and processes to maintain the development of products to meet future market requirements such as in lightweight and multi-functional applications.

South Korea is the eleventh largest economy in the world and fourth largest in Asia. The country has a heavy reliance on exports, which account for more than 40% of its gross domestic product (GDP). The primary industries including automotive, shipbuilding, electronics, textiles and steel contribute to nearly 40% of South Korean exports. The economy is heavily supported by large family-owned conglomerates, known as chaebols, with the largest being Samsung, SK, Hyundai, LG and Lotte.

In 2015, South Korea spent 4.23% of its GDP on research and development (R&D), second only to Israel in the world. Almost three-quarters of the R&D is business-led, of which 90% is invested in manufacturing. The South Korean government plans to increase spending on science and technology R&D projects by 26% in 2018. The Ministry of Science and ICT (formally the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning), headquartered in Gwacheon, will spend KRW1.52 trillion (US$1.38 billion) in 2018 on such R&D projects.

About Global Expert Missions

The Global Expert Missions (GEM) programme is funded by Innovate UK and designed to build international collaborations with governments, societies, enterprises, institutions, and people from every corner of the globe. With global challenges requiring international perspectives, the programme aims to support the UK government’s ambition to be the international partner of choice and a global hub for innovation by 2035.


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